Too Hot to Handle


Trust works in partnership with RoSPA to launch campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of hair straighteners to children.


Following a rise in the number of children attending our A&E at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children with hair straightener burns, Belfast Trust are working in partnership with The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) and Home Accident Prevention Northern Ireland (HAPNI) on the “Too Hot to Handle campaign”.


This campaign was launched recently in the A&E Department to raise awareness of the dangers hair straighteners can pose to children, causing burns which can require hospital admission and surgical intervention, including plastic surgery.

Number of children attending A&E

Figures from the Children’s Hospital show that 17 children aged between three months and nine years attended A&E in 2009-10 with hair straightener burns. The average age of the children admitted with hair straightener burns was 18 months.

Hair straighteners can reach temperatures in excess of 200 degrees – hot enough to fry an egg – and can take as long as 40 minutes to cool down. At the launch, Beam Creative Network played a short video clip demonstrating this in action, which will be shown in the A&E waiting areas of the Children’s Hospital.

Horrific burns can be prevented, by following a simple safety code: switching hair straighteners off and unplugging them straight away, before sliding them into a heat resistant bag, and storing them out of the sight and reach of children.

The campaign aims to lobby major manufacturers/retailers to supply heat resistant bags with the hair straighteners they sell.

Dr Julie-Ann Maney, consultant in paediatric emergency medicine at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, said: “Hair straightener burns are preventable.  The Too Hot to Handle campaign will highlight how dangerous these devices are, particularly to small children and that the public need to be aware of the horrific injuries that can be sustained. We are delighted to launch this campaign in association with RoSPA and the ESC to improve awareness and to prevent further injuries.”